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Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

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Population: 9,445,281 (est.)

Language(s):  Spanish

Capital: Santo Domingo

Interesting Facts:

  • The Dominican peso is the official currency of the Dominican Republic.
  • The Dominican Republic is 68.9% Roman Catholic, 18.2% Evangelical, 10.6% with no religion, and 2.3% other. However, other sources place the irreligious ratio at 7% and nearly 10%.
  • The climate of the Dominican Republic is mostly tropical. The annual average temperature is 25 °C (77 °F).
  • January and February are the coolest months of the year, while August is the hottest month.
  • The Dominican Republic lies at the heart of a hurricane belt and this makes it extremely susceptible to storms from June to October.
  • The Dominican Republic has the second largest economy in the Caribbean. It is an upper middle-income developing country primarily dependent on agriculture, trade, and services, especially tourism.
  • The national game of the Dominican Republic is baseball. Some of the world’s best baseball players are Dominicans.
  • Santo Domingo, the capital of Dominican Republic, is the oldest permanent settlement in the Western Hemisphere. The city was founded way back in 1496.
  • The oldest Cathedral in the world is situated in Santo Domingo. The first stone for the Cathedral was laid in 1514 by Diego Columbus, Christopher Columbus’ son.

The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two countries. Both by area and population, the Dominican Republic is the second largest Caribbean nation (after Cuba), with 48,442 square kilometres (18,704 sq mi) and an estimated 10 million people.

Taínos inhabited what is now the Dominican Republic since the 7th century. Christopher Columbus landed on it in 1492, and it became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, namely Santo Domingo, the country’s capital and Spain‘s first capital in the New World. After three centuries of Spanish rule, with French and Haitian interludes, the country became independent in 1821. The ruler, José Núñez de Cáceres, intended that the Dominican Republic be part of the nation of Gran Colombia, but he was quickly removed by the Haitian government and “Dominican” slave revolts. Victorious in the Dominican War of Independence in 1844, Dominicans experienced mostly internal strife, and also a brief return to Spanish rule, over the next 72 years. The United States occupation of 1916–1924, and a subsequent calm and prosperous six-year period under Horacio Vásquez Lajara, were followed by the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina until 1961. The civil war of 1965, the country’s last, was ended by a U.S.-led intervention, and was followed by the authoritarian rule of Joaquín Balaguer, 1966–1978. Since then, the Dominican Republic has moved toward representative democracy, and has been led by Leonel Fernández for most of the time after 1996. Danilo Medina Dominican Republic’s current president replaced former president Leonel Fernández holding 51% of the Electoral Vote over his opponent ex-president Hipolito Mejia in 2012.

The Dominican Republic has the ninth largest economy in Latin America and the second largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region. Though long known for sugar production, the economy is now dominated by services. The country’s economic progress is exemplified by its advanced telecommunication system. Nevertheless, unemployment, government corruption, and inconsistent electric service remain major Dominican problems. The country also has “marked income inequality”. International migration affects the Dominican Republic greatly, as it receives and sends large flows of migrants. Haitian immigration and the integration of Dominicans of Haitian descent are major issues. A large Dominican diaspora exists, most of it in the United States. They aid national development as they send billions of dollars to their families, accounting for one-tenth of the Dominican GDP.

The Dominican Republic is the second-most visited destination in the Caribbean, after Puerto Rico. The country’s year-round golf courses are among the top attractions on the island. In this mountainous land is located the Caribbean‘s highest mountain, Pico Duarte, as is Lake Enriquillo, the Caribbean’s largest lake and lowest elevation. Quisqueya, as Dominicans often call their country, has an average temperature of 26 °C (78.8 °F) and great biological diversity. Music and sport are of great importance in the Dominican culture, with merengue as the national dance and music, and baseball as the favorite sport

Source: Wikipedia

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